Monday, January 28, 2019

Audiobook Review: Humanism: The Untold Tale by Chirag Patel & Rishabh Prasad

Title: Humanism: The Untold Tale
Authors: Chirag Patel & Rishabh Prasad
Narrator: Chirag Patel
Publication: 2nd 2018 by Lamplight
Genre: Nonfiction
Purchase Links: Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo
Rating: 4/5

What is humanism? For a long time, I thought I knew. I was wrong, though. I thought it was a branch of philosophy that had been born in the Renaissance and had become the foundation for the Enlightenment and everything that came afterward. Looking back, I see that that was horribly Eurocentric. Of course, I learned about it growing up in England, so of course I would be told it was European. The real truth is hugely more sophisticated and ancient. Once I began to realise just how much verified contact between cultures there had been over the millennia and how much of what I was told was humanism was a remnant of an older belief system, I knew something closer to the truth.

This is the story of a history and tradition as long and complex as any major religion and far older than most. It has traced a conceptual path around Eurasia, holding onto remnants of each place. Today, part of humanism is the spiritual path trod in India, the ethics born in Confucianist China, and the legal system that came forth in medieval Islam. Secular humanism has hidden much of this history from us. In insisting that humanism is a science-based, post-Enlightenment European project, it has left us without the core spiritual and social components that humanism's rich history has left us.

This audiobook aims to redress the balance by exploring humanism's path from China, through India, the Middle East, Northern Africa, and finally, Europe.

©2018 Chirag Patel (P)2018 Chirag Patel

Too be honest, before starting this audiobook I only knew the bare essentials about humanism, especially connected to the cultural movement that took place during the Renaissance but I've always wanted to learn more so I'm really glad I had to chance to listen and review the audiobook. It taught me a whole lot more, I loved that and that's exactly why I enjoy nonfiction so much.

I'm very particular about the audiobooks I select and as my first one of 2019 I was very happy with how it turned out. It's definitely one of the better ones I've read in general. Chirag Patel (who also is one of the co-writers of this book along with Rishabh Prasad), was a great narrator and made it really easy to listen to the audiobook. He made me keep interest in it throughout and I never got bored, not even for one second.

Whether or not you like nonfiction or even the topic of humanism in general, I'd still highly recommend to give this book a read or listen to it like I did. It's only about 2 hours and 19 minutes long so it was a pretty quick audiobook (for me at least) because it was a highly fascinating and intriguing topic that I think will definitely make its readers think and be even more interested in learning more about it all.

5 interesting facts I learned:

  • Buddhism is one of the first real humanist philosophies
  • The real origins of humanism are spiritual in nature.
  • The first veriable examples of humanist thinkers occurred in around 600 BC.
  • Buddhism is the first ethical system that is virtue based rather than rule based.
  • The focus of Confucianism is behavior, not thought.